Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire is encouraging local residents to get involved with Cancer Research UK’s new campaign to help fight cancer.
The charity’s campaign involves members of the public becoming citizen scientists by visiting the Cell SliderTM website. Last week Jo took a turn on the new Cell SliderTM website, which could help the charity bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
With just a few minutes and a few clicks of the mouse, Cell SliderTM is the first ever interactive website to turn real archive cancer data into a format that can be analysed by the public. It presents real images of tumour samples in the form of a simple game of snap. Users are guided through a tutorial explaining which cells to analyse and which ones to ignore.
Getting the public to become ‘citizen scientists’ means more samples will be analysed faster and more effectively, which will free up Cancer Research UK’s experts to carry out other cancer research. More than half a million images have already been analysed.
At the moment, the process of identifying certain molecules in cancer cells which help scientists understand why people respond differently to cancer treatment is slow. That’s why Cancer Research UK has launched www.cellslider.net to help accelerate groundbreaking research.
Cell SliderTM comes as predictions show that the number of people with cancer in the UK is set to rise steeply by 2030. Every year, around 29,400 people in Scotland are diagnosed with cancer.*
Commenting Jo said:
“With the world class Beatson Institute in our area, local residents may already be familiar with how important medical research is for cancer.
“Most people know someone who has suffered from cancer and know what a struggle it can be. So I welcome this move to engage the public better and let people know how they can help in the search for better treatments, or even a cure.
“Research is cancer’s number one enemy, so I urge everyone in East Dunbartonshire to take five minutes to get involved with this exciting initiative and help Cancer Research UK’s doctors and scientists to keep making huge advances in the battle against all cancers. The program is so easy to use, meaning everyone can play their part in helping to beat cancer from the comfort of their own homes.
“While more of us will be diagnosed with cancer in future, there is good news. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity’s work is helping to ensure more men, women and children survive the disease.
“That’s why I’m calling on the local community to go on www.cellslider.netand help Cancer Research UK beat cancer sooner.”
Cancer Research UK’s Executive Director of Policy and Information, Sarah Woolnough, said:
“Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on the support of the public, so we hope would-be ‘citizen scientists’ in our local area will really get behind this campaign.
“We’re so pleased to have the support of Jo with raising awareness, as there’s still so much more we need to do to ensure no-one’s life is cut short by cancer. But by boosting our ability to analyse data quickly with the help of ‘citizen scientists’, our world-class research teams will be able to develop better ways to prevent, control and cure the disease and help save many more lives.”
To find out more about how to support Cancer Research UK, please visit cruk.org
*All cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) diagnosed in 2010